High cab fares leave a big hole in students’ pockets

Cabs City Karnataka Uncategorized

Students not able to use cabs for daily commute

By Simran Sharma

Students with  limited budgets are finding it tough to hire cabs because of their high fares. Many want cab companies to give them concessions.

Bhagya Nair, a biotechnology graduate from Kristu Jayanti College, informed The Observer: “Ola and Uber are most commonly used by students to travel to college. Just for 4-5 km, they charge Rs 150-200 , whereas it should be Rs 50-60   None of these services provide any concession.” 

  She further added that by the end of the month she spends most of her money on cabs. The fare is usually higher after 6 in the evening.

Many students have to ask their parents for extra money. 

P. Nayantara Nair, a psychology student at Kristu Jayanti College, said: “As students, we live on a specific budget, and it’s really difficult to save money with high fares of cabs. For a 10-km ride, it takes Rs 200-300. There have been times when I had to ask my parents for money because of a shortage. This is something I don’t like, but I am bound by my circumstances.” She suggested the cab operators provide concessions to students.

Shradha S,  a student at Mount Carmel College, said most of her savings go towards paying for cabs. “Apps like Ola and Uber have helped to an extent, but there are times when drivers of these companies refuse to give us a ride if we don’t pay them in cash or don’t give them extra money. Local cabs charge triple the amount than normal. For students like me, unexpected cab rides are nothing but a nightmare.”

The Observer talked to a few cab drivers to get their side of the story. 

Azeem Shariff, a cab driver, agreed that the high fares are a problem for the students, but said there is nothing that they can do about it. He  suggested students talk to authorities about it.

Cab drivers are not satisfied with the money they are paid. 

Muthuraj, who drives for a cab service, shared that they only get 25 percent of the total fare charged,  and it is not sufficient.  

S.R. Keshava, an economics professor at Bengaluru University, said: “As soon as more companies come up, this monopoly or duopoly will be affected and prices will come down. These companies should provide a proper share to the drivers. On the other hand, the government should also realize that for the economy to revive faster, taxes on fuel need to be reduced.”

Prof. M.N. Sreehari, the Karnataka government’s Traffic Advisor and Transport Infrastructure Consultant, said: “Cab fares are rising because of rising fuel prices. Students face a problem… because they are not earners. They are helpless in a way, but they can use public transport. These companies are private. The government can propose ideas to them, but cannot control their decisions.”

The Karnataka transport department revised the fares of app-based taxis in April. The minimum fare for the first 4 km has been increased to Rs 75 from Rs 44 and Rs 150 from Rs 80 for small and luxury cabs respectively, The Times of India reported. This decision came after a cab driver self-immolated near the Kempegowda International Airport because of a financial crisis due to high fuel prices..

simran.s@iijnm.org

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